SBIR Insider Newsletter
September 23, 2009 Edition
The news isn't a total loss, but it's not what you've been waiting for.
Although not cast in stone until the Senate votes [expected soon], the House overwhelmingly (417 to 2) passed a bill, H.R. 3614 today (9/23/09) that extends the SBIR, STTR, the Commercialization Pilot Program (CPP) and many other SBA programs through October 31, 2009. You read that correctly, a one month extension!
Nydia Velázquez's bill, an act "To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958", extends many of SBA programs to October 31, 2009 previously scheduled for reauthorization or sunset by September 30, 2009.
With the original deadline growing close, and so many issues on their plate, the Senate is expected to pass the bill and thus Congress will kick the SBIR "can" down the road, once again. This process of multiple short continuing resolutions (CRs) is damaging to the programs, and puts a great strain on the agencies and small businesses alike.
Why only a one month extension you ask? I would love to believe it's because the House and Senate are close to reaching consensus in the conferencing process of their two SBIR reauthorization bills. Staffers are being true to their word about staying "tight lipped" on negotiations, so little is known about the actual progress.
It is interesting to note that House Small Business Committee chair, Velázquez, didn't even mention SBIR in her two press releases today about the bill and its passing. On the other hand, the committee's ranking member, Sam Graves, used SBIR in the headline of one of his two press releases.
Most SBIR observers believed the programs would not be allowed to lapse and there would be a CR, so this action was no surprise. The real question was the length of the CR, which surprised many, including "yours truly."
There are some alternative plans in the background in case all other measures fail. We will keep you in the loop.
From the floor of the DoD's Beyond Phase II Conference in Orlando, FL, I bid you good day.
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